Jessica Perna

Artist Stereotypes. Women in the Italian Neo-Avant-Garde Art World

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Italian Women Artists; Neo-Avant-Gardes; Gender Studies; Italian Art Field; Feminist Debate.

This essay investigates the evolution of Italian women artists during the 1960s. The analysis focuses on twelve individuals, born between 1930 and 1940 (M. Apollonio, Dadamaino, G. Fioroni, L. Grisi, E. Gut, L. Di Luciano, L. Marcucci, C. Ricciardi, K. La Rocca, G. Varisco, N. Vigo, and S. Weller), who were the founders or exponents of the major neo-avant-garde groups and movements developed in the 1960s. The research outlines a generational portrait of these artists, and considers their social and cultural milieu, the stages of their educational careers, and aspects of their adulthood from an historical and sociological point of view. The essay then evaluates external conditionings on Italian women artists' lives and their expressive choices, by exploring how anti-feminist politics were limiting female freedom of action, including the dynamics of exclusion of women artists, the effects of gender stereotypes on their careers, and their strategies for professional affirmation. Against this background, Italian neo-avant-garde women artists acted rather pragmatically and ambiguously, as while they were still well integrated in the patriarchal society, they also promoted the rise of a new model for the female artist, anticipating some feminist ideas in their poetics.

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